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500 plus X – thinking forward from the anniversary of the Reformation 4th JOUR FIXE WITH LUTHER focuses on the sustained impact of the anniversary of the Reformation

JOUR FIXE MIT LUTHER 2016 (Foto: Michael Achhammer / © Staatliche Geschäftsstelle „Luther 2017")

Countless figures from cultural institutes, municipalities and churches have been preparing for the anniversary of the Reformation since the beginning of the Luther Decade. While the jubilee year is now approaching its culmination and the whole country is celebrating with exhibitions, conferences, concerts and other cultural events, the state-operated office “Luther 2017” is already looking ahead to after the anniversary. Under the motto “500 plus X – thinking forward together”, the office invited representatives from the churches, municipalities, states, culture and tourism to the Thuringian state offices in Berlin on Tuesday (22.11). In the framework of the annual JOUR FIXE WITH LUTHER they considered the anniversary’s impulses and focused on its sustained impact beyond 2017.

Impact beyond 2017

Director of the state-operated office “Luther 2017” Astrid Mühlmann advocated the continuation of the supraregional cooperation and networks that have developed in preparation for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. “We simply have to maintain these cultural networks,” Mühlmann explained during the JOUR FIXE WITH LUTHER. She stressed that particularly the collaboration between various museums and foundations such as the National Special Exhibitions planned for next year or the exhibition on the Reformation currently running in the USA was something new. “We should transfer the structures we have developed to other subjects,” said Mühlmann. 

Dr. Thomas A. Seidel
Dr. Thomas A. Seidel (r.) gave the welcoming address (Foto: Michael Achhammer / © Staatliche Geschäftsstelle „Luther 2017")

31 October of next year, the 500th anniversary of Luther’s legendary nailing of his theses to the church door in Wittenberg, does not mark the end of the anniversaries in the different regions of Germany: “In Augsburg they are already preparing for 2018, which marks the anniversary of the Augsburg Diet of 1518, in Leipzig they will be celebrating the Leipzig Disputation of 1519 and at Wartburg Castle they will be commemorating Luther’s translation of the Bible into German in 1522,” said Mühlmann. “So it continues.”

The Thuringian state government’s Reformation representative, Thomas Seidel, opened proceedings by looking back at the achievements of the Luther Decade and thanking those present for their efforts. He also expressed his desire to continue the impulses of the jubilee in sustained fashion. The author and poetry slammer Franziska Wilhelm, who summarised the consequences of the Reformation in a “cultural intermezzo”, put it like this: “Cultivating heritage is a life full of challenges”. Hence the need to stay with the topic – “One part of the subject has been dealt with, now it’s the turn of the next,” said Wilhelm.

Franziska Wilhelm.
Author and poetry slammer Franziska Wilhelm. (Foto: Michael Achhammer / © Staatliche Geschäftsstelle „Luther 2017")

Looking to the future

This year’s JOUR FIXE WITH LUTHER was conceived as a workshop for ideas in which Church, state and cultural figures could look to the future and develop ideas for after 2017. Hence the participants were invited to share their know-how gained from the Luther Decade so that the jubilee can be of sustained benefit. The workshops’ themes ranged from projects, tourism and culture to collaboration and society.

Participants presented the results of their workshops (Foto: Michael Achhammer / © Staatliche Geschäftsstelle „Luther 2017")

The results of the workshops were then discussed in presentations. All participants agreed that local and regional networks developed in the course of the Luther Decade must continue to be strengthened and grown. In particular, the “knock-on effects” of the anniversary of the Reformation have shown that the subject has not been limited to the obvious centres such as Wittenberg, but has been relevant on a national level, including in smaller municipalities. Something that will continue to exist after the jubilee year is the tourism infrastructure and the many historical buildings that have been restored for the occasion. For instance, the Luther Trails have created an attractive tourist activity in the form of hiking or pilgrimages from Wittenberg to Worms.

But what of the insights gained in these workshops? “The state-operated office will summarise and condense the results and present them to political decision-makers,” explained Markus Galle, project manager for the JOUR FIXE WITH LUTHER 2016. “The JOUR FIXE is taking the first steps towards sustained use of the impulses created by the anniversary of the Reformation”.


Source:Luther2017/epd Date:23-11-16
Jour fixe with Luther, Reformation, “Luther 2017”